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£12m tunnel from Ebbsfleet Garden City to Bluewater could boost bus travel

Plans for a new £12 million pound tunnel that links bus routes from Ebbsfleet Garden City to Bluewater are being discussed by the council.

The proposal from Kent County Council (KCC) for a Fastrack service, which connects all major developments in the area, comes as construction for 6,250 homes at Eastern Quarry, known as Whitecliffe, continues.

The housing development is currently bordered by Bean Road and Bluewater on one side and Ebbsfleet International on the other.

Construction work on Ebbsfleet Garden City (13834591)
Construction work on Ebbsfleet Garden City (13834591)

Two haulage tunnels that were used during the construction of Bluewater in the 1990s were considered for this service, but an investigation into their potential found it would be more cost effective to build a new tunnel.

KCC cabinet members for highways Mike Whiting said: “Fastrack is one of the core infrastructure projects for the Ebbsfleet Garden City and the completed scheme will contribute substantially to getting people onto public transport.

“In the design, every resident will be within 10 minutes of a Fastrack stop and 90% within five minutes ensuring that residents and business users can move freely around the development and between housing, business and leisure locations.”

As part of the highway infrastructure for the development, a road network will be built that crosses the Spine Road and links to the existing Hedge End roundabout on Bean Road at the northern edge of Bluewater.

If plans go ahead works would be delivered by KCC using forward funding from the Ebbsfleet Development Corporation and Bluewater.

The plans were unanimously endorsed by transport the environment and transport committee yesterday.

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